Microsoft

Grabbed by The Ghoulies [Beta – Xbox]

Grabbed by The Ghoulies is an action game that was developed by Rare and released for the original Xbox in 2003. As we can read on Wikipedia, before any details of the game were publicised, it was widely considered that Grabbed by the Ghoulies would be the subtitle to the next Conker the Squirrel game, after Conker’s Bad Fur Day. The game was originally intended to be a much larger in scope open-world platformer but due to the Microsoft buyout in 2002 and time constraints a simpler design and concept was adopted.

Grabbed by The Ghoulies was initially going to be released on the Nintendo GameCube and in the final Xbox game you can unlock a trailer from E3 2001, that should show the project when it was still on the Nintendo console (you can find it below). Thanks to Rareware Archives we can see many concept arts and beta screens, that show early designes of the characters, unused enemies and other interesting differences. As we can read in their description for the Grabbed by The Ghoulies beta 2001 video:

A lot has certainly changed from the game we’re familiar with, as the video includes a few cut enemies mucking about, early working models for the Zombie Ghoulies and Coopers girlfriend Amber and a surprise from Gweneth, the sneering Ghouly at the end, who was ultimately cut as well.

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The Avengers [Cancelled – Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC / Wii U]

The Avengers [Cancelled – Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC / Wii U]

The Avengers is a cancelled first person co-op beat ‘em up game that was planned to  be released alongside the 2012 superhero movie of the same name. The project was under development at THQ Studio Australia (Studio Oz) until THQ decided to close it. It was being worked on for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC; with further plans for a Wii U release.

Pre-production on the Avengers video game began in August 2010 at the Brisbane-based, THQ Studio Australia with approximately 80 employees working on it. During the first months of preliminary development, it was originally being planned as a third person game.

An Avengers movie – with Skrulls?

The Avengers - Cancelled Game Concept Art

When details of the project began to leak online in September 2011, there was a number of claims and rumors from various sites that the game was in some way connected to Marvel Studios’ Avengers movie, which was to be released the following year. Concept art was soon uncovered depicting the heroes facing down the Skrulls, an alien race from the Marvel comics. This lead some to believe that the upcoming film would also feature Skrulls, through the assumption that the game was directly tied into it. Jeremy Love, an artist who worked on the title for THQ was adamant that this was never the case:

“[It was] totally unrelated to the film. We were given early film art to use as reference for certain things but that’s about it.”

He continued, elaborating on possible sources of the confusion:

“Some toys were released before the film which were based on designs we had done for the game. People naturally jumped on that and drew their own conclusions. When the game was cancelled, some footage and art was leaked which also fueled speculation that the Skrull race would feature in the upcoming film.”

 

Butcher [Xbox 360 – Prototype]

The Butcher was one of many character prototypes created by Rare Ltd. in 2008. When the company’s direction shifted to Kinect software, all work on this prototype was abandoned. Currently we don’t know what kind of game Rare planned to use the Butcher into, or even if it would ever be used in some commercial project. As far as we know, this could have been a character study, without any gameplay connected at all. Only a few images and animations remain, to preserve the existence of this project.

Thanks to Moren for the contribution!

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Kinect Sports [Prototype / Concept – Xbox 360]

Kinect Sports (codenamed Natal Sports) was Rare Ltd. first Kinect title. Development started in late 2008 and fully started in early 2009 when the studio was restructured to fully focus on Kinect Software. It was Rare’s second try to produce a sports title on Xbox 360, their first attempt used an unreleased motion controller, similar to the Wii Remote, which remained unpublished.

Thanks to Moren for the contribution!

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Shade: Wrath of Angels [Beta – PC / Xbox]

Shade: Wrath of Angels is an action game for the PC and Xbox, developed by Black Element Software and published in 2004 by Cenega. Shade: Wrath of Angels’s working title was Nefandus and development Started in 1997 as isometric shooter based on Quake2 engine. The project was to be released by freeware, but distributors got attenttion, orginal concept was changed to 3rd person shooter with new storyline and title changed to Shade: Wrath of Angels. Game was finished in 2003, but developers didn’t fell they could succeed with the game concept and development started once again as hack’n’slash action with free moving camera, 1st person view and 2nd playable character the Servant, Mequon physics and DirectX 9 features added, story was brand new and final game released fall 2004 had nothing to do with previos version. Final game was to be ported to orginal Xbox and Nokia Ngage phone, but that never happened.

Final game was about saving main characters brother trough present, medieval, Egypt and Shadowland, but that has nothing to do with previous builds.

Post by Xerxesmv

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